At over 1300 feet of elevation on Pritchard Hill, the Colgin IX Estate is not only one of the most visually stunning properties in Napa Valley but also home to some of the best vines in all of California. Known for making truly exceptional wines, which compete with Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate and Sine Qua Non, this 2018 iteration of their flagship wine has not one, but two 100 point scores to its name.
It was the IX Estate Red that elevated Colgin to the top tier of cult producers with their first 100-point wine in 2002. Since then, a virtually identical winemaking and vineyard team has crafted wines in successive vintages up to the present day, with no expense spared along the way. The rocky, volcanic soils lend a structure and minerality to the wines that is distinctly Pritchard Hill. Not only do the wines age exceptionally well, they have proven to hold value and are among the most consistent in Napa year in, year out.
Colgin specialise in tiny production, hand crafted wines which regularly receive some of the highest combined scores of any wine the world over. These low production volumes mean the IX Estate Red has always been atop the most collectible and highly allocated wines in Napa Valley.
Scoring a flawless 100 points from The Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perotti-Brown, she describes the 2018 IX Estate as “mesmerising” with Jeb Dunnock noting a “perfect wine…Cabernet – or red wine for that matter – doesn’t get any better!”, also awarding 100 points.
The high scores keep rolling in with 99 points from Vinous’ Antonio Galoni, who comments “an exciting, viscerally thrilling wine that hits all the right notes. In 2018, the IX Estate is truly lights out”.
The Estate sells to select restaurants in the US, Europe and Asia, the remainder goes to individuals lucky enough to be on their private mailing list. Even the mailing list has purchase limitations and currently has over 3000 people waiting to join. This is a rare opportunity to secure these wines immediately.
On average Colgin only produce 350 cases of IX Estate a year, with demand always outstripping supply. This is hugely desirable and highly investable wine.
Colgin IX Estate 2018 (3x75cl)
£1425 per case IB
100 Points | Wine Advocate (LPB)
The 2018 IX Estate is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. Very deep purple-black colored, it needs a little coaxing to reveal earth and mineral scents of iron ore, tilled soil, forest floor and truffles with ripe red and black currants, kirsch, Black Forest cake and mulberries plus nuances of tar, lilacs and Sichuan pepper. Full-bodied and built like a brick house, the palate has a rock-solid frame of firm, grainy tannins and exhilarating freshness supporting the taut, muscular fruit. Mineral and savory accents linger long into the epic finish. A thought-provoking, pensive, mesmerizing wine.
“2018 was a super moderate growing season,” said Colgin’s winemaker, Alison Tauziet. “It didn’t even hit 100 degrees up here (on Pritchard Hill). We saw classic cycles of warm days and cool nights. We had a very even fruit set. We had pretty high cluster count, and there was the potential for too much crop. We took another look after veraison and did another vineyard pass. We picked the Merlot and Syrah in September. Then in early October, we got about an inch of rain one night, so we had to wait. We had good breezes to dry things out. Then we pulled the Cabernet in, in the second week of October.” Colgin knocks it out of the park again in 2018. The wines beautifully represent the vineyards and the vintage. Tychson Hill, in particular, blew my mind. With the main 2.5-acre part of the vineyard, planted in 1997, now in full swing, some of the newer 2014 plantings on the next-door slope have started to come on board, and the effect is WOW. The new section is also a tiny plot of 2.5 acres, but this more sloped block has a northern aspect and a gravelly loam profile. The combination makes for a truly magic, ethereal, wonderfully fragrant style.
100 Points | Jeb Dunnuck
Another perfect wine, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon IX Estate is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with 14% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot, all from the estate on Pritchard Hill. A monster of a wine that needs serious bottle age, it reveals a dense purple hue as well as a mineral-drenched bouquet of pure crème de cassis, charcoal, spring flowers, tobacco, and earth. Just incredible on the palate, it’s full-bodied and flawlessly balanced, with remarkable purity and a finish that won’t quit. Cabernet – or red wine for that matter – doesn’t get any better! It needs a solid 5-7 years of bottle age. but this legendary wine will see its 50th birthday in fine form. (Drink between 2026-2068)
99 Points | Vinous (AG)
The 2018 IX Estate is dense, powerful and brooding. Inky dark fruit, gravel, smoke, spice infuse the IX Estate with tremendous character. All of the savory intensity that is typical of this site comes through, and yet the richness of the fruit is palpable. Readers will find an exciting, viscerally thrilling wine that hits all the right notes. In 2018, the IX Estate is truly lights out. It is also the darkest and most concentrated of the three Cabernet Sauvignon wines. (Drink between 2024-2043)
98 Points | James Suckling
Extraordinary aromas of black truffles, blackberries, bark and violets. Essence of blackberries. Then it goes to crushed stones and pine needles. Aromatic perfection. Full-bodied with well framed tannins and beautiful dark fruit. Superb finish and intensity. Mountain character. Tannic at the end. Cooler and fresher undertone. 77% cabernet sauvignon, 14% cabernet franc, 8% merlot and 1% petit verdot. Try after 2027.
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